Recipes, Top Tips

Delicious alcohol-free drinks!

Here are some delicious alcohol-free drink ideas for people out there looking to cut down on alcohol consumption! I personally love to have a drink, but on the occasions I don’t fancy it, I never want to sit and just drink water!

This post is designed to hopefully give you some cool alternatives, so you can always enjoy a drink, whether it is alcoholic or not!

Alcohol-free spirits

Gordon’s (gin) – This is a plain, zero sugar and alcohol free alternative. It is pretty cheap and can be found in any supermarket across to UK.

Caleaño (gin) – If you like flavoured gins definitely go for Caleaño! It is infused with inca and juniper berries and is absolutely delicious! This is available on Amazon.

Clean R by Clean co (Rum) – This is a low alcohol alternative, 1.2% vol. I like to use this in cocktails and it tastes just like normal rum! This is also available in any supermarket.

Feragaia (Whiskey) – This is a Scottish alcohol free whiskey, and it is probably the best whiskey alternative I have tried! Available on Amazon, or use the official Feragaia website for a discount off your first order!

Mocktail recipes

mocktails - alcohol-free drinks
  • Mojito – a shot of alcohol free rum over ice, followed by the juice of 1 lime, a handful of mint leaves (chop slightly for more flavour) 1/2 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger and top up with soda water.
  • Strawberry old fashioned – a shot of alcohol free whiskey over ice, 2 crushed strawberries, rind of 1 orange, 1/2 tsp brown sugar and 2 drops of bitters.
  • Pornstar Martini – I like to buy a bottle of Funkin Passion Fruit Martini Cocktail Mixer and add alcohol free vodka to the recipe. It’s super easy and delicious!
  • Moscow Mule – A shot of alcohol free vodka or rum over ice, juice of 1/2 lime, some mint leaves and top up with ginger beer. This is one of my favourites!

Other drink alternatives

Remedy - alcohol-free drinks
  • Remedy- This brand offers alcohol-free kombucha and kefir drinks in lots of different flavours (coconut kefir and blood orange switchel are my favourites!). Wetherspoon’s now stock Remedy so make sure you check them out!

Check Remedy out here!

  • CleanCO – This brand makes both alcohol free and low alcohol alternatives. The clean G&T and clean Rum and cola are delicious and are 0.5% vol.

Check CleanCo out here!

Thank you for reading my delicious alcohol-free drink ideas! I hope you give some of these a try, and let me know how it goes! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out my Top tips on alcohol consumption and diabetes control! and my Sun-dried tomato and chicken pasta dish!

Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

How to lower your cholesterol!

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is vital for your wellbeing and for disease prevention. Having high cholesterol puts us at an increased risk of getting cardiovascular disease, strokes and many other health issues.

Keep reading for my top tips!

1. Find out what your cholesterol is

blood test - cholesterol levels

The first place to start is to chat with your doctor and ask for a cholesterol test. If you have diabetes, cholesterol should be checked at least twice a year alongside your HbA1c.

It really is important to keep track of your cholesterol results as well as your HbA1c as high cholesterol can have the same long-term consequences as high glucose.

When cholesterol is high, it can damage the lining of blood vessels leading plaque build up.

This also allows you to set goals with your doctor to better your health.

These are the following cholesterol blood test goals:

  • Total cholesterol: Under 5mmol/L
  • High-density lipids (HDL): below 4 mmol/L
  • Low-density lipids (LDL): Below 3mmol/L
  • Serum triglycerides: below 2.3 mmol/L

2. Limit processed foods

Firstly it is really important to understand that there are different types of fat, some of which are not great for your health, and others that are fundamental for your body and health.

Processed foods tend to be packed with what people call ‘bad fats’. This is known as saturated fat and trans fats. Essentially, you want to consuming as little of these fat types as possible.

This is because ‘bad fats’ cause the health problems associated with having high cholesterol.

The best way to avoid processed foods is to make your meals and snacks from scratch. Also think about limiting red meat sources as they are high in saturated fats.

I also want to make it clear that consuming what many call ‘bad fats’ occasionally is absolutely fine. Please remember that every food group has a place in the diet, it is just about making food that promotes health the bulk of your diet.

3. Increase ‘good fats’

good fats to lower cholesterol

‘Good fats’ are vital for health because they help to lower ‘bad fats’ in the blood. Good fats are known as HDL and bad as LDL.

Include some of the following in your daily diet:

  • Avocado
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds etc)
  • Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna etc)
  • Eggs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Yogurt

Please do not be afraid to include the above foods in your diet! I have personally increased the amount of oily fish in my diet and I have seen many benefits. Food is your friend, never the enemy!

4. Support your liver

The liver is actually the main organ that controls the amount of cholesterol in the blood. HDL’s are released from the liver when LDL’s are too high in the blood. HDL’s then attach to LDL’s and move them back into storage in the liver.

This process is absolutely vital, but can become compromised when the liver is under pressure.

To support your liver try to do the following:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Eat the rainbow
  • Eat sour foods (lemon juice, rocket, artichoke, watercress etc)
  • Don’t smoke
  • Hydrate!

5. Live an active life

exercise to lower cholesterol

Having an increased body weight and sedentary lifestyle puts us at a higher risk of having elevated cholesterol.

Therefore, it is vital to make movement and exercise a part of your daily routine.

Try to complete at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, but try to do more! If you only have time to do 20-30 minutes, opt for high intensity types to get more out of the time.

Most importantly, choose exercise you enjoy because this makes it easier to stick to a routine long-term!

Thank you so much for reading how to lower you cholesterol! I hope you found this post useful and you learnt something new today! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out How to keep your kidneys healthy with diabetes and How to read food labelling effectively!

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Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

5 ways to reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes

Many people often worry about getting health complications such as type 2 diabetes, so here are 5 ways to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes!

Always remember preventing health issues before they become a problem is optimal! If you are concerned about your health, go and see your doctor and look at ways to improve your lifestyle!

1. Switch up your carb sources

fibre for type 2 diabetes prevention

I have said this across so many posts, and I’ll say it again! Opt for brown and wholegrain carbohydrate sources as they contain more fibre, vitamins and minerals than white carbs.

Fibre is very important for the digestive system and maintaining balanced sugar levels. Fibre not only feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut to stimulate optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, but it also slows digestion down, which helps to prevent sudden sugar spikes.

Bear in mind the recommended daily fibre intake is 30g, so pack wholegrain oats, grains, legumes and a variety of fruit and vegetables into your daily diet.

2. Get moving!

get moving for type 2 diabetes prevention

Type 2 diabetes is majorly linked to having a sedentary lifestyle, so get up and get moving to reduce your risk!

If you are a student, or have an office job, I highly recommend scheduling some time into your diary to make sure you take breaks and get some activity in. Whether this is going for a walk on your lunch break, getting to the gym before your shift starts, or walking the dog, make sure you get it done!

The best way to keep active is to find what you enjoy. If you are bored of your current exercise plan, the chances are you won’t stick to it! So try something new, book into a Zumba class, go for a swim, even go for a walk with your family/friends. It doesn’t necessarily matter what form of exercise it is, as long as you are moving your body.

3. Check what you are drinking

coffee - type 2 diabetes prevention

Many people switch up their diet which is fantastic, but people often forget to check what they are drinking!

If you are drinking many cups of tea or coffee a day, with milk and sugar, this unfortunately will add up to a lot of sugar!

Try to reduce (ideally eliminate) any added sugar to teas or coffees, and switch to herbal teas if you are open to it.

Herbal teas have many health benefits, for example green tea is packed with antioxidants, and lemon with ashwaganda tea is fantastic for digestion! If you find herbal teas bland, add a tiny drizzle of honey to make it taste a bit nicer!

4. Get your vitamin D!

Studies have shown that having optimal vitamin D levels is linked to preventing insulin resistance. This essentially means that vitamin D helps the body to utilise sugar effectively, helping sugar to get inside of cells and maintaining optimal blood glucose levels.

I’m not personally very big on supplements, but if you are from somewhere that lacks sun, I would recommend supplementing vitamin D.

Take a supplement that contains 10 micrograms (400 IU) a day (according to NHS guidelines) all year round.

Do not take more than 100 micrograms (4000 IU) a day.

If you are looking at vitamin D supplements for your children, double check the NHS website right here for doses.

5. Eat your anti-inflammatories!

increase insulin sensitivity for type 2 diabetes prevention

Anti-inflammatory foods and herbs help to promote insulin sensitivity. So try to incorporate some of these in your daily diet!

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 80g blueberries
  • 1 avocado
  • 150g salmon
  • 5-7 walnuts

Thank you for reading 5 ways to reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes! I really hope this helps you to make some positive changes! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read 5 Easy ways to lower your HbA1c! and my Sausage Casserole Recipe!

Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

How to keep your kidneys healthy with diabetes

This week I am giving some tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy when living with diabetes!

Lots of people living with diabetes often worry about the complications that occur due to persistent hyperglycaemia. So, I decided to write a series on how to keep organs and systems healthy, and preventing complications from occurring, aside from keeping sugar levels stable!

So be sure to check out How to keep your eyes healthy with diabetes!

1. Drink up!

drink water for healthy kidneys

Drinking adequate water is essential for optimal kidney function. The role of the kidneys is to filter the blood and remove toxins. Without adequate water intake, the efficiency of toxin elimination decreases, which makes the kidneys work harder!

Therefore, it is vital to drink at least 2 litres of water a day (more if you are active!) to aid kidney function and toxin elimination.

To make water more interesting and fresh, add fruits such as lemon, lime or strawberries!

2. Keep your blood pressure in check!

Having high blood pressure can put stress on the blood vessels and filtration tubules in the kidneys. This can lead to weakness and damage, causing protein to leak into the urine.

Having persistent high blood glucose as well as high blood pressure increases the risk of getting kidney disease.

Therefore, it is imperative to control blood pressure as well as blood glucose. This can be achieved by:

Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight (summary below):

Avoid processed foods and table salt. Season food with natural sea salt as your source of sodium.

foods for healthy kidneys

– Eat brown and wholemeal carbs to aid blood glucose control and to add fibre.

– Choose unprocessed protein sources such as chicken, turkey, beans and legumes.

– Eat the rainbow to pack in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Challenge yourself and try to eat 7 a day!

– Get your omega 3’s! Found in salmon, walnuts and chia seeds.

Exercising!

-Try to get a mixture of cardio and resistance training in your weekly regime. Different types of exercise have different benefits so always try and incorporate both types!

Cardio helps to decrease blood pressure and strengthen the heart, and resistance training strengthens bones and builds muscle!

3. Alcohol and smoking

Drinking excessive alcohol can make the kidneys less effective at filtering the blood and removing toxins. Alcohol also causes severe dehydration that could contribute to the formation of kidney stones, infections and other conditions that will cause kidney damage.

So make sure you are watching your alcohol intake and drink sensibly!

Smoking is a no go! Cigarettes are packed with chemicals that increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, blood clots and many more diseases!

So if you smoke, I urge you to try and quit. Smoking causes damage to not only the kidneys, but all organs and body tissue.

4. Get your checks!

tests for healthy kidneys

In the UK blood and urine checks are carried out at least twice a year.

These check ups are vital in looking at your general health and to catch any complications of diabetes early!

If you have any kidney damage this will be picked up on urine and blood tests so doctors can act quickly to prevent further damage.

So please make time for these appointments and put your health first!

Thank you for reading How to keep your kidneys healthy with diabetes! I hope you found this information useful and this post helps you to make positive lifestyle changes! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Simple guide to fitness with diabetes! and 5 foods diabetics should be eating!

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Diet, Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

How to read food labelling effectively!

Knowing how to read food labelling is a great skill to have in order to achieve better health.

I just want to note that this post is not to scare you about consuming certain products, it is a guide to choosing products with less processed ingredients if this is what you are interested in.

Knowing where to start can be confusing and misleading! So keep reading for some basic tips to make sure you are buying products that are better quality and more natural.

1. Traffic light labelling

traffic light food labelling

Most products now use traffic light labelling to give you a quick insight into the general nutritional values it provides.

While this can be extremely useful, I would not recommend assuming that a product is ‘healthy’ just because it has all green sections. Use this as a starting basis, and always turn the packet over and look at the rest of the information provided.

I recommend using the traffic light system for packaged products, such as snack bars or crisps. Products like this tend to be higher in saturated fats and sugar, if this is a concern for you then look no further than traffic light labelling.

I find the traffic light system detrimental when buying natural products such as nuts and seeds. Of course products like this are high in fat and show as ‘red’. This does not mean nuts and seeds are ‘bad’ or ‘unhealthy’, they are high in good fats and are majorly beneficial to the body.

So, to summarise, the traffic light system can be useful, but do not let it cause you to draw a false conclusion about a product too quickly. Read point 2 for the next step!

2. Ingredients list

peanut butter, food labelling

Lets get straight to it, the first 3 ingredients are key when deciding whether or not to buy a product.

If the first 3 ingredients are natural and necessary for the product, it is likely to be good for your health. For example, if peanut butter has 96% peanuts, sustainable palm oil and a pinch of sea salt, this is a product you should go for.

However, if the peanut butter has more than 3 ingredients (which just is not necessary), and some are artificial, there is probably a better option out there! For example peanut butter that has 90% peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated oil and table salt.

A general rule of thumb, if the product has an ingredients list longer than your arm, there is probably a better option out there!

3. E-number look out!

A lot of people simply look for ingredients starting with ‘E’, and assume if there aren’t any, it is additive free!

But unfortunately it is not quite this simple. Manufacturers can use the E-code, actual name of the additive, OR the trade name of an additive. For example, Aspartame could be labelled as Aspartame, E951 or Nutrasweet.

If you would like to limit additives, try to avoid products with really long ingredients lists and always look up ingredients that you do not recognise!

4. Misleading food labels

low sugar, food labelling

A lot of manufacturers use certain colours and phrases on packaging that pull you into a false sense of security.

For example:

  • ‘Low calorie’
  • ‘Sugar-free’
  • ‘Low-fat’
  • ‘Natural’

A product might be ‘sugar-free’, but what has the sugar been replaced with? Most of the time sweeteners are added to decrease the amount of calories. This is a great point to know because you have the choice to consume the version with natural sugar, or the version with sweeteners. I would personally recommend going for products with more natural ingredients.

I also wanted to point out that consuming additives once is a while is not going to cause any damage, so please allow yourself a treat every now and then!

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Thank you so much for reading my tips on how to read food labelling effectively! I really hope you found it useful and please drop me any questions! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this blog, be sure to read 5 ways to improve digestion! and my Simple guide to fitness with diabetes!

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Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

How to keep your eyes healthy with diabetes

I have been getting a lot of questions recently about complications related to diabetes, so I thought I would write a little series about how to prevent these complications!

This week the focus is on how to keep your eyes healthy with diabetes! Of course the obvious is prevent high blood sugars, but I have gathered a few more tips I hope you find useful!

So, keep reading for my top tips on how to keep your eyes healthy while living with diabetes!

1. Avoid the rollercoaster

High sugar levels alone can cause damage to the eyes, but having extremely high sugar levels followed by low sugar levels can also be very damaging and is best to avoid.

 roller coaster - keeping eyes healthy with diabetes

Drastic fluctuations can be extremely damaging to the blood vessels at the back of the eye because the excess glucose damages the walls of blood vessels. If this is followed by a drastic reduction in blood glucose, it can deprive the eye of oxygen.

Therefore, try to not over-correct a high sugar level and try to gradually bring your glucose back into range.

I like to treat high blood glucose with a small correction dose, and some gentle exercise, such as going for a short walk. If you have an FGM/CGM, keep track of your levels to ensure you do not drop into a hypo after treating a high.

2. Protect your eyes

This is a really important point! And there are a few different factors to consider to keep your eyes protected!

sunglasses to keep eyes healthy with diabetes
  • Wear sunglasses! – Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause eye damage and can lead to long-term eye problems. So make sure you invest in sunglasses with UV protection as cheaper products do not provide adequate protection. 
  • Stay hydrated! – dehydration can cause thinning of tissue in the eyes, as well as making eyes sore and itchy. Looking at screens for a long time can contribute to dryness, so drink lots of water and take regular breaks from staring at screens. If you suffer from dry eyes, also consider buying an eye spray, or drops for extra moisture.
  • Get lots of shut eye! – Sleep is your body’s time for healing and regeneration, so getting adequate sleep is essential for eye health. Try to get yourself in a regular sleep routine, and priorities your self-care time!
  • Quit smoking! – Smoking puts more pressure on the eyes and increases the risk of getting complications from diabetes. Smoking increases blood pressure which can also contribute to eye damage. So if you smoke, I would strongly recommend taking the steps to quit and to prioritise your health.

3. Get your annual screenings

Getting your eyes checked regularly is imperative. I know it isn’t the nicest of processes, but knowing your eyes are healthy can really help to ease the burden of diabetes. I don’t really like getting them checked, but thinking of it like this makes the process a lot more bearable!

Furthermore, if the doctor does find some changes in your eyes, the quicker we know, the better! If damage is found early we can intervene and prevent this damage getting worse, and becoming permanent.

So get organised, arrange your appointments and set reminders to make sure you don’t miss them!

4. Nourish your eyes

There are certain nutrients that are essential for eye health, here is a brief list of what to prioritise!

raw almonds for keeping eyes healthy with diabetes
  • Vitamin A/Beta-carotene – Vitamin A is essential for eye health, sight, and the structure of eye tissue. Generally, vitamin A is found is orange fruit and vegetables, so include carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and mango in your daily diet!
  • Lutein – Lutein provides protection from UV damage and can be found in dark leafy greens! Try to include spinach, kale and Swiss chard in your diet! Dark leaves are also packed with antioxidants which help to prevent damage to body tissues.
  • Omega-3 – Essential fatty acids are great at preventing dryness, and can be found in salmon, mackerel, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts and chia seeds.

A final point to know, is that having high cholesterol can also massively contribute to eye damage. Eating plenty of unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats can help to balance cholesterol. Unsaturated fats can be found in peanut butter, avocado’s, legumes, fish, nuts and seeds.

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Thank you for reading how to keep your eyes healthy with diabetes! I really hope you found this useful and helps you to protect your eyes! Make sure you subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read How to stop worrying about diabetic complications! and 5 Easy ways to lower your HbA1c!

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Diet, Top Tips

5 foods packed with hidden sugars!

This week I am drawing your attention to foods with hidden sugars! A lot of products contain much more sugar than we might think. This of course can impact sugar levels and can massively contribute to hyperglycaemia!

Be sure to look out for the following ingredients on packaging as manufacturers can use a variety of names for sugar:

  • Barley Malt
  • Dextrin/Dextrose
  • Galactose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Molasses
  • Sorbitol

These are just a couple of examples, keep reading here for more information!

So with this in mind, keep reading for 5 foods that are packed with hidden sugars!

1. Soup

soup with hidden sugars

Packaged and processed foods are pretty much always high in sugar! This is because sugar adds flavour to products, while increasing shelf-life and being a very cheap ingredient!

This includes tinned soups! One can of Heinz Tomato soup contains nearly 20g of sugar! This coupled with bread on the side can make this meal very high in carbs, while lacking in protein and healthy fats to slow digestion.

Therefore, I always recommend trying to make soups from scratch so you know exactly what is in there. Soups are so quick and easy to make, so give it a go! Here is my Carrot and Coriander recipe to get you started!

2. Cereal/Granola

Granola with hidden sugars

In general, most cereals and granolas are packed with sugars to enhance the taste. I would particularly pay attention to ‘healthy’ granola brands that make health claims and pull you into a sense of security.

Granola brands tend to have around 10g of sugar per serving, however bear in mind that the average person will eat more than one portion. So with the amount of milk and extra toppings added, the sugar consumed at breakfast alone is pretty high!

Always turn over the packet before you buy, to get a sense of how much sugar is hidden away in the product.

Lizi’s Granola is a better brand for some guidance, and I am working on some granola recipes that I will post soon!

3. Yogurt

Yogurts can be a fantastic addition to your diet, however you must pick and choose brands carefully!

Particularly low fat yogurts can have a really high sugar content to improve the taste. Small one portion pots can have to up 10g of sugar!So make sure you are checking the labels before purchasing your products!

Some better brands to consider are Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt (low sugar, high protein), and Alpro no sugar Soya Yogurt are great options!

4. Ready-made Sauces

sauces with hidden sugars

Many people love to use ready made pasta and stir-fry sauces as it is quick and easy. However most are packed with extra sugar, salt and additives to preserve and improve the taste of the product!

For example, tomato sauce can have around 5g of sugar per portion, and stir-fry sauces can have around 10-15g of sugar in one serving!

This is a lot of sugar, especially compared to homemade versions. So learn a couple of quick and easy sauces you can make at home to avoid consuming more sugar than necessary!

To get started, check out my Chicken Satay recipe!

5. Spreads!

food sandwich wood coffee

The main product to talk abut here is peanut butter. Peanut butter is massively trending as a ‘health food’, but many people still buy brands that are packed with sugar and other ingredients that aren’t very healthy!

For example, super-market own brands can have between 1-4g of sugar per serving, compared to whole brands having less than 1g of sugar.

Again, look at the list of ingredients to see what you are consuming, better brands should have peanuts and maybe a little added salt/oil. As soon as the ingredients list goes beyond this, I would reconsider the brands you are buying!

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Thank you for reading 5 foods with hidden sugars! I really hope you found this useful and will help you to buy healthier brands! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read 5 foods to limit if you’re living with diabetes! and 5 foods diabetics should be eating!

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Diet, Top Tips

5 easy ways to reduce your toxin load!

Helping the body to eliminate toxins is vital for the body to function optimally and to reach ultimate health!

Reducing your toxin load also helps the body to regulate sugar levels, as it gives the liver less to handle and can help to increase insulin sensitivity!

So keep reading to learn 5 easy ways to reduce your toxin load!

1. Drink up!

This point is fairly obvious, but of course to flush out toxins, we have to be consuming enough water!

herbal tea to reduce toxin load

So drink at least 2 litres of fresh, filtered water and if you are active make sure you are consuming more than 2 litres as it will increase your water demand.

Avoid fizzy drinks and juices from concentrate to decrease additives, and put some fresh fruit in your water to make it tastier! My favourites are cucumber, lemon, lime, orange and strawberries.

Also try to drink some herbal teas, but bear in mind that herbal teas can be quite dehydrating as well as having benefits, so drink some water alongside it.

Try to decrease caffeine and alcohol consumption to allow your liver to have a break and recover. The more toxins the liver is dealing with, the harder detoxification is! And if you are smoking, do your best to quit!

Another point to remember is when plastic water bottles heat up, it can cause chemicals to leak into the water. So if you drink from plastic bottles either swap to non-plastic, or keep the bottle out of the sun and as cool as possible.

2. Pack in your fibre!

Fibre is also vital for eliminating toxins, as well as keeping us feeling satiated and feeding the healthy bacteria in the gut.

Some food sources high in fibre include apples, pears, beans, lentils, broccoli and sweetcorn. Make sure these are part of your daily diet.

Also opt for wholegrain and brown carbohydrate sources to increase your fibre intake.

Try to reduce your intake of refined sugars as a high sugar diet can decrease insulin sensitivity and make glucose control harder and less efficient.

3. Go organic

I know it is expensive, but buying as much organically as possible is a great idea!

This helps to reduce pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals present in non-organic food sources.

If you are on a strict food budget, there are some foods that tend to be much higher in these chemicals, so try to buy the following foods organically where possible:

organic potatoes to reduce toxin load
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale

This list is known as the Dirty Dozen if you would like to do some more research!

4. Go environmentally friendly

environmentally friendly cleaning products to lower toxin load

Reduce and swap your cleaning products to natural products!

This is not only much better for the environment, but also beneficial for your health.

Most cleaning products contain chemicals such as ammonia and formaldehyde which can put the liver under stress when they enter the body.

I also recommend wearing a mask and wearing gloves during cleaning, to prevent inhaling and absorbing any cleaning products through the skin.

Ecover is a brand that have a whole variety of environmentally friendly cleaning products, check them out!

Also try to use glass containers rather than plastic to prevent chemicals leaking into your food that can be extremely damaging and toxic. This is also much better for the environment!

5. Eat the rainbow!

Different coloured fruit and vegetables contain different vitamins and minerals which are all vital for getting antioxidants in and detoxifying. So get as many colours as possible into your diet!

Make sure you are eating lots of Vitamin C throughout the day to keep your levels topped up and to help detoxification. Great sources of Vitamin C include red peppers, kiwi’s, berries and citrus fruits.

Thank you for reading 5 easy ways to reduce your toxin load! I hope this helps your journey to better health, be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to checkout 5 ways to improve digestion! and Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe!

Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

How to reach diabetic remission!

Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes can be really scary, but having an early diagnosis means you can act quickly. Pre-diabetes is classed as having a HbA1c of between 42-47mmol/mol. 48mmol/mol and above is then classed as having Type 2 diabetes.

If you have an elevated HbA1c it is very likely you also aren’t feeling the best, so it is important to act quickly. Reaching remission and getting your HbA1c back in range is absolutely possible, it takes some lifestyle changes, patience and a positive mindset.

Take that first step for yourself and your health! Keep reading for my tips on reaching diabetic remission!

Get Moving

walking diabetes remission

In order to decrease sugar levels getting movement in is vital for using up some glucose.

I recommend starting simple, and finding what you enjoy. If you are unsure where to start, begin with walking and/or swimming. Find where your fitness level is at, and then work by gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your chosen activity.

Exercise of course aids weight loss which can be essential in reaching diabetic remission. If you want to help keep yourself accountable, think about consulting a personal trainer, or ask a family member or friend to be your accountability and workout partner.

Re-evaluate your diet

Altering what you are eating and making some dietary swaps is vital for decreasing HbA1c and getting back to optimum health.

Firstly, think about swapping white and refined carbohydrates to brown and wholegrain carbohydrates. White carbs can contribute massively to glucose spikes, so it is definitely worth swapping to sources of carbs that release more slowly. For example incorporating brown pasta, rice and bread, oats, quinoa and oat cakes into your diet. Also opt for dark chocolate (70% plus) over chocolates packed with refined sugar.

legumes - diabetic remission

Furthermore, make sure you are getting sources of essential fatty acids everyday. Eating nuts, seeds and legumes helps to reduce inflammation and can also provide a source of protein.

Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, try and aim for at least 7 a day! Also avoid fruit juices from concentrate, fresh fruit juices are fine on occasion, however cranberry juice is much lower in sugar compared to others, so be sure to give cranberry juice a try!

If you would like some further guidance, seek advice from a professional nutritionist.

Invest in technology

blood tests - diabetic remission

In my opinion, it is definitely worth having a blood glucose testing kit. This way you can test your blood glucose if you feel unwell, or it can help to identify what time/times of the day your levels are spiking.

Being able to collect data yourself gives you more control over your health and can help you to reach diabetic remission faster. But please try not to obsess over numbers and remember that it is there for guidance.

In the UK, sometimes testing kits are given on the NHS, but usually only if you ask, so be sure to ask your GP or consultant! If you are from a country where you have to pay, do some research and see what you can find, it doesn’t have to be the flashiest monitor, a basic finger-prick monitor is great. If you can’t afford any technology, don’t panic! It is possible to achieve remission without technology!

Detox and reduce inflammation

Type 2 diabetes causes widespread inflammation, meaning it is vital to aid detoxification to reduce inflammation.

Here are 4 ways to support the liver to aid detoxification:

1.Decrease the toxins going into your body. Try to completely avoid alcohol, refined sugar, table salt and smoking, also limit caffeine intake and swap to organic foods to reduce pesticide intake.

detox - diabetic remission

2. Increase water intake! Water is vital for all functions of the body, including flushing toxins out! I also recommend getting a filter jug and keeping your water at room temperature. Drinking cold water can cause the digestive system to slow down, which we don’t want during detoxing. So drink room temperature water, or warm water.

3. Sweat it out! Another way we get rid of toxins is through sweating. So make sure you are completing at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, you will reap the benefits!

4. Support your liver with nutrients. Increase antioxidant intake by eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, berries, green tea, lemon and so on! Remember to eat the rainbow everyday! Also include garlic, ginger, turmeric and black pepper in your diet everyday.

Decrease your stress load

The hormone cortisol can contribute to chronic hyperglycaemia, therefore being a big factor in developing pre-diabetes.

Chronic stress has a number of detrimental impacts on the body, including high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes (and pretty much any illness!).

So confide in family and friends and share how you are feeling. Educate yourself and the people around you about living with diabetes and tell them how they can support you.

Read my posts Is stress making your glucose levels impossible to control? and Confused about ‘types’ of diabetes? Here is your diabetes 101 for more guidance!

Thank you for reading my tips on how to reach diabetic remission, I hope you found this useful and reassuring! Be sure to subscribe for more content and follow me on Instagram!

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Diet, Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

5 ways to improve digestion!

Here are my 5 ways to improve digestion, which are super easy! Supporting and improving digestion is vital for health, whether that’s supporting glucose control, increasing energy levels or aiding weight loss. When digestion is poor a range of problems and illnesses can arise, such as autoimmune conditions, allergies and intolerances.

So, keep reading for 5 ways to improve your digestion and promote your health!

1.Eat prebiotic foods

It is commonly known that we have bacteria in our digestive system, which is called the microbiome.

banana = prebiotic food

There are strains of bacteria which are beneficial for us, and others that are detrimental. The beneficial strains promote health because they aid digestion, absorption and can even help to make vital nutrients, for example folate.

The following foods are fantastic prebiotic foods to include in your diet, yogurt, kimchi, bananas, miso, and pretty much any fermented foods.

If you would like to take an extra step, taking a probiotic supplement with your main meal will help to repopulate the good strains of bacteria in the gut.

2. Avoid refined sugar

Refined sugar can be extremely detrimental to health. Not only does refined sugar contribute to glucose spikes, it also feeds the bad bacteria in the gut. This can lead to digestive complications, such as bloating, SIBO, leaky gut syndrome and many more!

avoid refined sugar for digestive health

So I would definitely recommend cutting down on refined sugar, especially if you are struggling with digestive issues such as bloating. It is alright to have an occasional treat, but just be aware that refined sugars are not your friend and may worsen digestive symptoms.

Try and stick to natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables and natural sweeteners (like honey), rather than white sugar or artificial sweeteners.

3. Don’t drink with meals!

This may come as a surprise to you but drinking a lot of liquid with food is not great for digestion.

I don’t just mean alcohol, I am also referring to hot drinks, soft drinks and even water.

When we drink a lot of liquid with food, it can dilute digestive enzymes, making digestion slower and sluggish. This can also be a big factor that contributes towards bloating for many people.

beer - don't drink with meals

Furthermore, fizzy drinks and alcohol can outcompete food, meaning that they will be absorbed ahead of beneficial nutrients.

Remember that water is vital for digestion, but water needs to be consumed throughout the day to replenish digestive juices, rather than mostly being consumed at meal times.

So, if you need a drink with meals, sip fresh, room temperature water while eating and wait around 20-30 minutes after eating to drink lots of water. Prioritise drinking the bulk of your water between meals!

4. Pack in fibre!

Fibre aids the flow of digestion and passing stools. This is vital because this is a major way we eliminate toxins. When digestion is poor, we do not absorb nutrients effectively and we do not eliminate toxins effectively.

brown carbs - fibre

So eating enough fibre is vital for regulating bowel habits, and keeping the whole body healthy.

Furthermore, fibre feeds healthy strains of bacteria in the gut, which helps to prevent the over-growth of bad bacteria.

Add more fibre to your diet by swapping to wholegrain and brown carbs, eating fruit, leafy vegetables and legumes.

5. Eat Mindfully

Eating mindfully means knowing exactly what you are eating and paying full attention while you are eating. For example, thinking about the texture, taste and smell of the food that you are eating.

When people are not concentrating properly while eating, they tend to eat too quickly, chew food inadequately and will potentially overeat. This will impair digestion and may mean the person is not getting the full benefits from the foods they are eating.

So try to eat without distractions, chew your food as much as possible to make digestion and absorption more efficient, and sip water while eating.

Thank you for reading my 5 ways to improve digestion, I hope you found these tips useful! Make sure you subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read my Delicious Banana Brownie Recipe! and Simple guide to fitness with diabetes!

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